Nigerian Senate Defends N70 Billion Allocation: Focus on Office Repairs, Not Personal Gain

In a recent statement, Yemi Adaramodu, the spokesperson of the Senate, addressed concerns about the allocation of N70 billion in the national assembly’s budget. He stated that no member of the assembly would receive any personal benefits from this fund, as it is specifically designated for the purchase of furniture and repairs in lawmakers’ offices.

The allocation was made during an amendment to the 2022 supplementary budget, and it drew criticism from many Nigerians. This was particularly notable as President Bola Tinubu had previously obtained approval to borrow $800 million to provide financial support to 12 million households affected by the removal of subsidy on petroleum motor spirit (PMS). This financial assistance amounted to N8,000 per household for six months.

Adaramodu clarified that claims of “padding” in the budget to accommodate the N70 billion were false. He emphasized that the allocation was simply the fulfilment of the Senate’s constitutional duty. The funds are intended to address urgent needs in the National Assembly Complex, including repairs, maintenance, and the provision of necessary tools and equipment.

He further explained that the allocation would not be paid directly to any legislator but would be managed by the national assembly bureaucracy. Additionally, he pointed out that the complex does not only house legislators but also thousands of workers and service providers who require an improved working environment.

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Adaramodu rejected the notion that this allocation was a “palliative” for the legislators, as the complex is not owned by them. He expressed his concern that the criticism surrounding the allocation was an attempt to discredit the 10th assembly, and he debunked the allegations of “padding” in the budget.

The statement aimed to clarify the purpose of the N70 billion allocation and highlight that it would be used for essential improvements in the national assembly’s facilities, benefitting not only lawmakers but also the broader workforce within the complex.

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